SUCCESS STORY / Melinda Watts, 29: From 175 pounds to 143 pounds
Former weight: 175 pounds
Current weight: 143 pounds
Pounds lost: 32 pounds
Height: 5 feet 3 inches
Age: 29 years
How long she’s kept it off: She started in January and reached her current weight in August.
Personal life: “I recently graduated from Life University in Marietta with a degree in business,” Watts said. “My husband and I live in Dallas, Ga., with our two dogs: Luna and Eva. We’ve been married for three years. … I currently work at Stability Pilates and Physical Therapy as the office manager.”
Turning point: “I felt sluggish most of the time, and lots of my clothes just didn’t quite fit or not how I wanted them to,” Watts said. “I knew I wasn’t happy and wanted to make a change, and this was the time to do it. I have known (wellness coach) Jacynta Harb, www.sparkleanewyou.com, for a few years and wanted to try out her wellness classes. … From the first class I was hooked; her energy and knowledge are truly captivating. … I like to tell people that it is not a diet but a lifestyle change. … I changed how, when and what I ate. I made conscious decisions about what I was putting into my body.”
Diet plan: “Again, I don’t like to call it a diet because this isn’t something I’m doing for a certain period of time — it is a way of life for me,” Watts said. Breakfast is oatmeal, lunch is a salad. Dinner is protein, veggies and fruit. Snacks are Greek yogurt and Lärabars.
Exercise routine: “My exercise before consisted of playing softball once a week on a coed softball team that I manage,” she said. “In January, right after I joined Sparkle, I joined Orangetheory Fitness in Kennesaw. I love that each time you go it’s a different template and incorporates the treadmill, rower and weight room.”
Biggest challenge: “I’d say that my biggest challenge has been adding more vegetables into my diet. I have always been a picky eater, and vegetables are far from my favorite,” Watts said. “This year I have played around with cooking a variety of vegetables. … One other big challenge for me is being too tired to cook or not having enough time to cook … if I don’t have something already made.”
How life has changed: “I feel much more confident in myself. I feel happier and healthier,” Watts said. “My friends and family have been so supportive and encouraging. … I have met my first goal of losing 30 pounds, but I still would like to lose a little more and tone up my muscles. I also had set a goal of doing a 5K a month, and I am two away from accomplishing that goal. … One motto I followed was ‘keep moving forward.’ … No matter how much I wanted to resort to my old ways or not go to the gym that day, I pushed myself to keep moving forward.”
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